Thanks to another Pinner, I have dinner

Aside

I have been using Pinterest for a couple of years now. At first I didn’t really know how to use it or what it was. There was a lot of buzz about it and I would see things my Facebook friends had “pinned”. I joined but still didn’t really use it much.

Now, I do spend a few minutes once or twice a week going through my favorite categories which are food (any kind), health and fitness and organizational tips. I have gotten many new recipes to try and last night I made a variation of one that I first saw on Pinterest a year or so ago. That is cheese steak stuffed peppers. I love cheese steaks having lived in Philadelphia for ten years and I like stuffed peppers too. This recipe is a big hit with my husband, but I usually just give my kids a roll to have their cheese steaks in because up to this point they haven’t cared for stuffed peppers. Last night, my eight year old asked if he could have a pepper too when he saw what they looked like!

I got thin sliced steak at Trader Joe’s and fried it in my cast iron skillet with some sliced onion, olive oil and salt and pepper. Once it was cooked, I cut the tops off some green peppers and de-seeded them. I lined the bottoms of the peppers with a slice of provolone and added three ounces of he steak and onion mix. The peppers weren’t full and I was wishing that I had some quinoa cooked to fill the peppers. Instead I finely chopped some cauliflower and filled them with it. I added about 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese and put the tops back on. I baked it in the oven at 350 for about twenty minutes. The peppers were really good, but I probably should have cooked them for about ten minutes longer so the the cauliflower and peppers were not quite so crunchy.

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I will continue to search Pinterest to find more recipes and ideas about what to make for dinner.

Pizza night

I have discovered over the years that I really like to cook. There are many nights that I can barely figure out what to serve my family and it feels like I search in the fridge or cabinets for something to throw on the table. “Brinner” a term coined from that hilarious sitcom Scrubs (breakfast for dinner) is a big favorite in our house and is easy for mom which is a big plus. Pumpkin pancakes and egg in toast are probably the most common brinners for us.

When I have the time, or someone to entertain the kiddos, I really like to cook and come up with my own recipes or variations on someone else’s recipe. Tonight’s dinner was pizza. My four year old had a rough day at the doctor with a recurring fever and a subsequent blood test so when he asked for “movie night” and ordering pizza, I convinced him that we could have a movie night and make homemade pizza and it would be just as good for him and even better for me.

We ended up at Trader Joe’s to purchase smoked salmon for his favorite lunch and then the ingredients for pizza. TJ’s does a good pizza dough, so I picked up one bag of the regular and one bag of the whole wheat for the parent’s pizza. I probably could have served my kids whole wheat without much complaint, but I got the regular. The kids had pepperoni with mozzarella cheese and since none of them particularly like red sauce, I used a pesto base (again, thank you TJ’s – I will make my own pesto when my basil is growing again!) I have never seen my kids eat almost an entire pizza. My oldest gobbled it up and he really isn’t a fan of pizza. He usually dreads those birthday parties where pizza is served, but he is slowly being turned on to one of his favorite uncle’s favorite dishes.

The true artistry of the night took place with the grown up pizza. I used the whole wheat crust with the pesto sauce and then added all the veggies I could find in my fridge and cupboards that sounded good to me.  I added baby bella mushrooms chopped fine, artichokes drained and chopped, sun dried tomatoes and fresh spinach. I topped it off with just 1/2 cup of TJ’s quatro formaggio shredded cheese blend. It was delicious although when I added the recipe to MYFitness Pal it had more calories than I would have liked. I have to experiment with different crusts to see what tastes good and is a little healthier for us all. I have been experimenting with homemade bread, so pizza dough should be pretty easy.

Pizza and movie night was a hit. We watched Matt Damon in “We Bought a Zoo,” a movie the kids had seen, but we had not. We enjoyed the movie, the pizza, our soda stream root beer, and most importantly a little family time. Pizza and movie night was a success.